Mary J. Blige Covers Shape Magazine, Reveals Workout and Diet Tips

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 11/19/2013 | 09:00 AM EST

Mary gives the 411 on her fitness

Mary J. Blige flaunts her toned abs on the latest cover of Shape Magazine. In the fitness magazine, Blige, 42, shares some of her workout and diet tips and even opens up about her sobriety.

The singer, who’s holiday album, A Mary Christmas, is out this season, says she’s determined to stay fit during the holiday season, which can be quite tempting between all the turkey and stuffing festivities.

Blige says her main fitness secret is cardio. “The treadmill is fine but running outdoors gives me the best results. I try to log 6 to 8 miles a week. I could be in the worst mood, but when I do my cardio I feel much, much better,” she tells the magazine. Blige, who also stars in the upcoming film, Black Nativity, says she tailors her workout regimens to her age, revealing that in addition to running, she sticks to strength training and recently learned to swim so that she could intensify her cardio.

“At first it was very hard, but once I got in the water and figured out how to breathe, it was so liberating,” she said.

As for her diet, Blige says she cut out sugar for three weeks to get fit for her cover shoot and follows a gluten-free, dairy-free and low-carb diet most of the time. Another thing she says she cut out of her diet is alcohol, divulging that she hasn’t sipped an ounce of liquor since Whitney Houston’s death.

“Others may be able to drink and have a great time, but it doesn’t work for me at this point,” she says. “I haven’t had a drink in a year and three months. I had quit for a long time but started again about five years ago. I’m off it completely once more, and now I feel stronger than ever.”

(Photo: Courtesy of SHAPE Magazine)

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